Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974

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Ernest Henry Gruening (February 6, 1887 – June 26, 1974) was an American journalist and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Gruening was the Governor of the Alaska Territory from 1939 until 1953 and a United States Senator from Alaska from 1959 until 1969.

Born in New York City, Gruening attended The Hotchkiss School, and he graduated from Harvard University in 1907 and from Harvard Medical School in 1912. After completing his studies, he forsook medicine, instead pursuing a career in journalism. Initially a reporter for the Boston American in 1912, he went on to become copy desk editor and rewrite man for the Boston Evening Herald and, from 1912 to 1913, an editorial writer. He also worked for the Boston Herald and the Boston Journal at various points. For four years, Gruening was, consecutively, managing editor of the Boston Evening Traveller and the New York Tribune. After serving in World War I, Gruening became the editor of The Nation from 1920 to 1923 and the editor of the New York Post for four months in 1934. During his time in New York, he also worked for the Spanish-language publication La Prensa. Throughout his journalism career, Gruening fought for the cause of labor and for minorities. Eventually, his crusade began to include fighting for rights for territories and possessions of the United States.

Gruening's interests began to sway more toward politics. He was intrigued by the politics surrounding the New Deal and wanted to be part of the action. In 1933, he was appointed to the U.S. delegation to the 7th Inter-American Conference in Montevideo, Chile. In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Gruening Director of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions within the Department of the Interior. During his years as director, he also served as administrator of the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration. He eventually made his way to Alaska in 1938, when he served on the Alaska International Highway Commission. By 1939, he was appointed territorial governor of Alaska by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a position in which he served until 1953. While governor, Gruening fought for Alaska statehood along with the protection and utilization of the territory's resources as well as fighting for the equality of the Native people.

In 1955, Gruening was elected to the U.S. Senate from the Territory of Alaska. As Alaska was not a state, he received no senatorial privileges. Gruening eventually became one of Alaska's inaugural pair of senators after Alaska gained statehood in 1959. A prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, he was one of just two senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. In 1968, Mike Gravel defeated Gruening in the Democratic Senate primary. Gruening's attempt to win re-election as an independent was unsuccessful. After leaving office, he continued his active political involvement as president of an investment firm and as a legislative consultant. Gruening died in Washington, D.C. and his cremated ashes were scattered on Mount Ernest Gruening near his Alaska home.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Stokes, Harold Phelps, 1887-1970. Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908-1969 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Spingarn, Arthur B. (Arthur Barnett), 1878-1971. Papers, 1850-1967 (bulk 1920-1955). Library of Congress
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Letter, 1967, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Handley, Celia N. Celia N. Handley Collection, ca. 1950's-1970's. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, 1956. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Robert E. Sherwood papers, 1917-1968 (inclusive), 1934-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Gitkov, G. David. Correspondence concerning marine transportation system for Southeast Alaska, 1959-1962. Alaska state library
referencedIn Anchorage Times. Alaskan People Collection. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series III, 1909-1942 (inclusive) [microform]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Gruening diaries [microform], 1910, 1930-1970. Washington Library Network
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Pulitzer, Joseph, 1885-1955. Joseph Pulitzer papers, 1897-1958 (bulk 1925-1955). Library of Congress
referencedIn Robert and Jessie Bloom Papers, 1897-1980. The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
referencedIn Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908-1969 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Barr, Stringfellow, 1897-1982. Papers of Stringfellow Barr, 1927-1968. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf MARGARET GARDINER PAPERS. Vol. III (ff. 129). 'Vietnam: an American View'; 1967.includes:ff. 2, 34 Harrison Evans Salisbury, Associate Editor, 'The New York Times': Letters to Margaret Gardiner of Harrison Evans Salisbury: 1967: Signed.ff. 3, 40 ..., 1967 British Library
referencedIn Younger, J. Arthur (Jesse Arthur), 1893-1967. J. Arthur Younger papers, 1964-1968. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Jerome New Frank papers, 1918-1972 (bulk 1929-1957) Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Some missionaries and their work in Alaska Cornell University Library
referencedIn Henry Seidel Canby papers, 1825-1959 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Alaska territorial governors photograph collection [graphic], ca. 1912-1953. Alaska state library
referencedIn Riggs, Elisha, 1779-1853. Riggs family papers, 1763-1945. Library of Congress
referencedIn Arnoni, M. S. (Menachem S.), 1922-1985. Menachem Arnoni collection, 1961-1968. Boston University. School of Medicine
referencedIn Chester Bowles papers, 1924-1982 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Dodge, Beverly, 1928-2001. Beverly Dodge scrapbook on Ernest Gruening, 1968-1980. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
referencedIn Stokes, Harold Phelps, 1887-1970. Harold Phelps Stokes papers, 1908-1969 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Joseph Pulitzer Papers, 1897-1958, (bulk 1925-1955) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn La Follette family papers, 1781-1988 (bulk 1900-1953) Library of Congress
referencedIn National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam. National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam records, 1964-1967. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Kehoe, Joseph W., 1890-1959. Joseph W. Kehoe papers, 1944-1955. University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Paul Blanshard Papers, 1912-1979 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Spilman, Louis, 1899-. Papers of the Waynesboro, Va. News-Virginian publisher [manuscript] 1947-69. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Oral history interview with Senator Ernest Gruening [sound recording] / interviewed by Howard Fredricks. University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Murphy Library
referencedIn Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961, Papers, 1822, 1831, 1845, 1903-2007 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Papers of Drew Pearson. Files from the Merry-Go-Round Farm, 1919-1969 Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest Henry, 1887-1974. Letter, 1943 January 15, Juneau, Alaska, to Frank H. McCulloch, Chicago. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Spurr, Stephen Hopkins. Stephen Hopkins Spurr papers, 1940-1971 (bulk 1952-1968). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Bennett Cerf Papers, ca. 1898-1977. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
creatorOf Hester, Hugh B. (Hugh Bryan), 1895-1983. Hugh Hester papers, 1945-1983. (bulk 1968-1983). Clemson University Libraries, Robert Muldrow Cooper Library
referencedIn Thomas J. Dodd Papers, undated, 1919-1971. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Witter Bynner papers, 1829-1965. Houghton Library
referencedIn Boucher, Emily Polet. Emily Boucher papers, 1940-1963. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
referencedIn Yaddo records, 1870-1980 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Ernest Gruening Papers, 1914-1974 University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Polar Regions Collections & Archives
creatorOf Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967,. Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967. Houghton Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Smith, Howard K. (Howard Kingsbury), 1914-2002. Papers, 1941-1963. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn George W. Pray Papers, 1844-1890 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn United States. Office of Territories. Records of the Office of Territories, RG 126. A selected file on Alaska relating to the United Congo Improvement Association [microform], 1935. Washington Library Network
referencedIn Price, Byron, 1891-1981. Papers, 1901-1980. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Arthur B. Spingarn Papers, 1850-1970, (bulk 1920-1955) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Erb, John E, 1901-. Papers of John Erb, 1962-1976. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Meek, Frank. Frank and Marjorie Meek Collection, ca. 1940's-1990's. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest Henry. Autograph letter signed and typed letter signed : [n.p.], to Herbert J. Seligmann, 1969 Aug. 1 and 1973 Dec. 31. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Breckinridge, Clifton Rodes, 1846-1932. Breckinridge family papers, 1752-1965. Library of Congress
referencedIn National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States. Board of Advisors. Robert A. Frederick papers, 1960-1985. Anchorage Museum Atwood Resource Center, ANCHORAGE MUSEUM OF HIST & ART LI
referencedIn Kirchwey, Freda, 1893-1976. Papers, 1871-1972 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Clarence Leroy Andrews papers, 1900-1948 University of Oregon Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Blair, Helen D. Papers of Helen D. Blair, 1938-1973. Alaska state library
referencedIn William Ernest Hocking papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Crouch, Wendell. Letters, 1964-1969. UAA/APU Consortium Library, Consortium Library
referencedIn Elmer Rice letters from various correspondents, 1915-1967. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Correspondence with American Musicological Society, 1964-1965. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Breckinridge Family Papers, 1752-1965 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Margaret Bayne Price Papers, 1918-1969, 1947-1968 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Memorabilia concerning the unveiling of the Ernest Gruening statue in the National Statuary Hall, 1977. Alaska state library
referencedIn Charley Crowley Territorial Guard certificate, 1942. Anchorage Museum Atwood Resource Center, ANCHORAGE MUSEUM OF HIST & ART LI
creatorOf Cumming, Hugh S. (Hugh Smith), 1900-1986. Papers of Hugh S. Cumming, 1874-1984, bulk (1937-1984). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Harrison, Gilbert A. Gilbert A. Harrison papers, 1902-1978 (bulk 1960-1975). Library of Congress
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Letter to George P. Hammond : Washington, D.C. : LS, 1956 Apr. 3. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Oswald Garrison Villard papers, 1856-1949. Houghton Library
creatorOf Gruening, Ernest, 1887-1974. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1919-1945. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Kirchwey, Freda. Papers, 1871-1972 (inclusive), 1937-1971 (bulk) [microform]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Alaska Statehood Collection, 1943-1980. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
referencedIn Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966. Papers, 1681-1966 (bulk 1900-1960) Houghton Library
referencedIn Canby, Henry Seidel, 1878-1961. Henry Seidel Canby papers, 1825-1959. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn George S. Messersmith papers, 1907-1955 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn People's Video (Madison, Wis.). Records, 1974-1977. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn McCutcheon, Steve, 1911-. Steve McCutcheon collection, 1946-1978 [motion picture] UAA/APU Consortium Library, Consortium Library
creatorOf Kilpatrick, James Jackson, 1920-2010. James J. Kilpatrick papers [manuscript], 1925-1966 (bulk 1950-1966). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Wilson, Bruce A. Official diary of the Sweet-Wilson expedition into the frozen tundra of the far north, 1946. Alaska state library
referencedIn Riggs Family Papers, 1763-1945 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Stephen Hopkins Spurr Papers, 1940-1971, 1952-1968 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Drew Pearson. 1915 - 1969. Files from the Georgetown Office and Residence Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Relation Name
associatedWith Alaska. corporateBody
associatedWith Alaska. Governor (1939-1953 : Gruening) corporateBody
associatedWith Andrews, Clarence Leroy, 1862-1948. person
correspondedWith Arnoni, M. S. (Menachem S.), 1922-1985. person
associatedWith Barr, Stringfellow, 1897-1982. person
associatedWith Blair, Helen D. person
associatedWith Blanshard, Paul, 1892- person
correspondedWith Bloom, Robert L., 1878-1974 person
employeeOf Boston Herald (Newspaper) corporateBody
employeeOf Boston Journal (Newspaper) corporateBody
associatedWith Boucher, Emily Polet. person
associatedWith Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986 person
correspondedWith Breckinridge family family
associatedWith Briffault, Herma Hoyt. person
correspondedWith Bynner, Witter, 1881-1968 person
associatedWith Canby, Henry Seidel, 1878-1961. person
associatedWith Cerf, Bennett, 1898-1971. person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
correspondedWith Crouch, Wendell. person
associatedWith Cumming, Hugh S. (Hugh Smith), 1900-1986. person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. person
correspondedWith Dodd, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), 1907-1971 person
associatedWith Dodge, Beverly, 1928-2001. person
associatedWith Erb, John E, 1901- person
associatedWith Frank, Jerome, 1889-1957 person
associatedWith Fredricks, Howard R. person
correspondedWith Gannett, Lewis, 1891-1966 person
associatedWith Gitkov, G. David. person
associatedWith Handley, Celia N. person
associatedWith Harrison, Gilbert A. person
associatedWith Harrison, Gilbert A. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard Medical School. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Hester, Hugh B. (Hugh Bryan), 1895-1983. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Hotchkiss School corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith James, James Alton, 1864-1962. person
associatedWith Jones, Anna May. person
correspondedWith Kehoe, Joseph W., 1890-1959. person
associatedWith Kilpatrick, James Jackson, 1920-2010. person
associatedWith Kirchwey, Freda. person
associatedWith McCulloch, Frank H. person
associatedWith McCutcheon, Steve, 1911- person
associatedWith Meek, Frank. person
associatedWith Messersmith, George S., (George Strausser), 1883-1960 person
associatedWith National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam. corporateBody
associatedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
New York Post corporateBody
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
employeeOf New York Tribune (New York, NY) corporateBody
associatedWith Nourse, J. E. (Joseph Everett), 1819-1889. person
associatedWith People's Video (Madison, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library. Seligmann Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890 person
associatedWith Price, Byron, 1891-1981. person
associatedWith Price, Margaret Bayne, 1912-1968 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
correspondedWith Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911 person
correspondedWith Pulitzer, Joseph, 1885-1955. person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
correspondedWith Rice, Elmer, 1892-1967 person
correspondedWith Riggs family family
associatedWith Seligmann, Herbert J., person
associatedWith Seligmann, Herbert J., Mrs, person
correspondedWith Sherwood, Robert E. (Robert Emmet), 1896-1955 person
associatedWith Smith, Howard K. (Howard Kingsbury), 1914-2002. person
associatedWith Spilman, Louis, 1899- person
associatedWith Spingarn, Arthur B. (Arthur Barnett), 1878-1971. person
associatedWith Spurr, Stephen Hopkins. person
associatedWith Stokes, Harold Phelps, 1887-1970. person
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate corporateBody
employeeOf United States Department of the Interior corporateBody
correspondedWith United States. Office of Territories. corporateBody
employeeOf United States. Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. person
associatedWith Wilson, Bruce A. person
associatedWith Yaddo (Artist's colony) corporateBody
associatedWith Younger, J. Arthur (Jesse Arthur), 1893-1967. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Boston MA US
New York City NY US
Juneau AK US
Cambridge MA US
District of Columbia DC US
Lakeville CT US
Subject
United States
Alaska
Birth control
Governor
Governors
Governors
Journalists
Legislators
Legislators
Politicians
Statehood (American politics)
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Occupation
Federal Government Official
Governors
Journalists
Newspaper editors
Senators, U.S. Congress
Activity

Person

Birth 1887-02-06

Death 1974-06-26

Male

Americans

English,

Spanish; Castilian

Information

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Ark ID: w61h1bxx

SNAC ID: 85820756